WICKER PARK — Richard Tilley, a resident of Wicker Park for 40 years, remembers how dangers used to lurk near the Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection.
"In the 70s and 80s, it was not safe to be out at this corner at night," Tilley said. "Now, look at it."
Tilley was among the opening night crowd Wednesday at Wicker Park's new boutique hotel The Robey. The 90-year-old Englishman dined on a New York strip steak at Cafe Robey — the French-American bistro that anchors the 12-story art deco Northwest Tower at 2018 W. North Ave.
In addition to Cafe Robey, a smattering of hotel guests and local residents were enjoying "Cafe Robey Upstairs," the second-floor lounge overlooking the intersection.
Though the Up & Up, a rooftop bar and lounge, was reserved for the hotel's first guests, the management made an exception for Tilley, who said he had not been on the building's roof for several years.
There, Tilley, impeccably dressed in a trench coat, observed the dramatic skyline views and stayed for a good bit, despite the wind and chill.
Here are a few other photos from Wednesday night, as well as the opening dinner menu for Cafe Robey.
Cafe Robey Upstairs, a second-floor lounge. [Photos by DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]
The top of the tower.
Guests enjoying the chill late night vibe at Cafe Robey upstairs.
Friendly bartenders at the Up & Up.
Cafe Robey Cocktails.
Richard Tilley at Cafey Robey.
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